Huperzine A is a nootropic used to improve brain function, which leads to improved memory and mental focus. It inhibits acetylcholinesterase, which in is an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.
Uses of Huperzine A
Huperzine A is a nootropic which can be found in products such as nootropics, pre-workouts, fat burners, and gaming supplements.
Huperzine A may inhibit an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. More acetylcholine in the brain may increase focus and improve memory.
You’ll mostly find Huperzine A in nootropic supplements, as it may make the effects last longer. The most promising studies for Huperzine A have come from Alzheimer’s patients, and although more studies need to be done, it has certainly proven itself to be a potential force on that front.
Another study has shown that Huperzine A may be beneficial for memory retention. While the study was done on adolescents, at 100mcg it proved to be effective. While not on athletes, it at least shows that the benefits of Huperzine A are not simply limited to people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Huperzine A seems to be more of an add-on as opposed to being the main ingredient in nootropic supplements, although it has been proven to be effective on its own. Due to its ability to prolong the effects of acetylcholine, you’ll usually see it paired with various forms of choline such as Alpha-GPC, Citicholine, and Choline Bitartrate.
It may be better to look at Huperzine A as a supplement to help you in your day to day life as opposed to using it to increase your performance at the gym. Better memory retention can certainly be beneficial to anyone.
Interactions with Huperzine A
Since Huperzine A doesn’t have much research for sports enhancement purposes, it isn’t something many of us would simply take as a standalone, although it could be. A good bet would be to pair this with a proven source of choline such as Alpha-GPC. We have to mention that although there may be synergy between the 2, it is advised to lower the dose of both Huperzine A and Choline.
Picture it as if Alpha-GPC were a steak, and Huperzine A were steak sauce. While a steak is perfectly fine on its own, adding some sauce on it may make it more enjoyable for some.
In theory, it should work well in a pre-workout, as many of them contain nootropics, which should make the focus benefits work longer. Be sure to check out our write-up on Alpha-GPC, and you’ll see all of the great ingredients that can be paired up with that as well.
Side Effects of Huperzine A
While Huperzine A is considered relatively safe to take as a daily supplement, it should be cycled after 3 months of continued use. Some may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision, slurred speech, restlessness, loss of appetite, cramping, high blood pressure, and low heart rate. If you are pregnant, always talk to your OB
Recommended Huperzine A Dosage
Looking at the studies, most it seems as if Huperzine A may be effective anywhere from 50mcg-200mcg, twice daily. If you see your bottle say “Huperzine A 1%”, make sure you are taking the amount and doing the math for 1%. For example, if it says “Huperzine A 1%” and the amount is 10mg, you have 100mcg of Huperzine A.
If you plan on stacking it with a source of choline, we recommend lowering the dose of both.
Side Note: you’ll usually have to do this math on products which contain “Toothed Clubmoss”. Toothed Clubmoss is usually standardized for 1% of Huperzine A.
Recommended Supplements Featuring Huperzine A
The following products contain Huperzine A at the recommended dosage, and are recommended supplements for Fitness Informant: